Following some common best practices to start your site can save you time and frustration in the long run. If you truly intend for this to be a business for you, then you must invest some effort and a small amount of money to start. If you compare the start up costs of a website vs. many other businesses, however, you can see that these costs can be somewhat reasonable comparatively.
Common assumptions when starting a good online business include the following.
A Good Domain Name
Easy to Share
This should be a smart name that is easy to share with others without someone having to S-P-E-L-L it out to them because it uses dashes, numbers, or a cute/odd misspelling.
A ‘.com’ extension is a good bet, as if you get a ‘.org’ or anything else, people may still have a tendency to think of sites naturally as ‘.com’ extensions first.
It should also be researched to ensure it is not an already trademarked organization or firm where complications may arise with a conflict using the same name. Even if you see the ‘.com’ extension is used, but you can get the ‘.org’, it still may be wise to pass because confusion will likely occur on the part of your audience and they will probably for to the more common ‘.com’ site.
Navigation that Makes Sense
When people visit a site, they like to see something that looks like some time has been spent on it. Your content should be categorized in a way that makes sense and be easy to use.
Popular or Related Posts
In addition, you should be able to showcase posts of high interest on your home page and related content on your blog posts.
Clear, Clean Layout
While some themes are quite fancy, they can get a bit overboard when it comes to common conventions for most people. An easy to read font, along with links in BLUE color are some small things that can increase user engagement from the get go.
Self Hosted Platform
You’ll want to get we hosting for your site, otherwise you’ll be locked into a site (WordPress.com, Blogger, etc.) where you’re not able to control what you’re able to do. For instance, you may not be able to do affiliate marketing. Secondly, your audience may not take you as seriously and may just consider you a hobby blogger vs a business. Finally, as you build up your site and brand, do you really want to have to change your URL from what people know?
Speed & Performance
Check out your page load time to ensure user’s are not put off when they first try to visit your site. Getting this right from the beginning and continuing to keep it in mind as you grow and/or add content is important, because users expect performance when they visit sites. If a page doesn’t load quickly, they’ll often pass onto the next option. This can be a death spiral for your site, as search engines will recognize that people are not spending time on your site, and your ranking will likely be adversely affected, as well.